Office Space in the deeeeeep south.

Time for another update, sadly I have not been taking many pictures lately but I have a few put away for you. Mostly I have been working, this is a monster of a website with over 50 pages, so I have my hands full. I find the shear inefficiency of the organization I’m working with astounding. It is all pretty well summed up by the building’s custodian.

            She is and elderly woman in her late fifties or early sixties. She is full of good intentions and a positive attitude, but when it comes time to do her job she is hindered some what by her age and corpulence. Her weight and resulting back problems have reduced her walk to a hobbling shuffle, often aided by a broom-come-cane. As she moves about the building she sweeps, but her broom has been reduced by her method of locomotion to one of those sad, malformed, and highly ineffective affairs with bent and flattened bristles that frequent the back of dusty closets in older institutions. Her mop is an equally sad affair, consisting of a formless wad of cloth attached by some unknown means to the end of a pole. I do not think she mops the upstairs, for there is no access to water other than in the horrid excuse for a bathroom for which she has no key (that tells you a lot in itself). I don’t think she is capable of hauling a bucket up the stairs, and it would be a rather depressing spectacle to see her try. I am forced to assume that she is kept on in her position either because she is a volunteer, or for the sake of posterity. Even concern over her pride on the part of whoever it is who is in charge of staff recruitment in this place (if such a person even exists) must have long ago been overcome by the obvious filth and decrepitude of the office. Or perhaps they simply don’t care.

The organization in this “organization” is so bewilderingly patchy and irregular that the very secretary who’s job it is to maintain basic information chooses to encourage me to help myself to the secretarial computer rather than attempt to sift through the mass of outdated and overlapping documents within. None of the most important document from before the introduction of computers to the organization have been digitized, not even the statutes of the Federation, which I had to borrow from a visiting representative from one of the outlying associations because the Vice-President didn’t have a copy!

There is no schedule, and I have only seen the Director of Education who is supposed to be supervising my project once in the past week, and that was on the street while I was coming back from lunch! The assistant secretary (or Secretary to the President depending on which list of employees you are slogging through) who was supposed to be my primary source of information disappeared from the office with out a word the third day I was here. I saw him out front of the office in street clothes last Friday and, good natured guy he was, he gave me an email address to contact him (which I still haven’t managed to decipher) and offer a hurried explanation of what he was doing. I understood only “Traditional Medicine” out of that paragraph of Spanish and continue to be mystified by his absence. At any one time there are at least 3 important people missing from the office, often including the president, with the explanation that they “went to Maccas”, making it impossible to get basic information from all the departments in a single day. Only when I traveled outside the main office to work in an Education subcenter did I find someone equally disillusioned and sufficiently helpful to facilitate any true progress on the site.

Leonardo, who I gather is both the head of the SERBISH subcenter information department and recording studio, is a techie with big aspirations to install a central network in FISCH and talk them into investing in a high-speed internet connection (they have no internet or networking capabilities at all currently) and bigger complaints about the bureaucratic structure of the Federation. He helped me outline a more effective structure for the site and promised to help me acquire the information I needed before disappearing himself half a day early for a trip to Maccas. So now I set again in the abandoned office of the Director of Education surrounded by an unplugged monitor, floppy-disk lock-box, and late-90’s (ok, probably early 2000s) Korean computer and all the dust I would ever need to wage war against an allergy clinic.


Now that I am done ranting, here are a few pictures from my visit to a local day resort, the Tutanangosa River, and a few miscellaneous shots thrown in for flavor. Enjoy.


~ by twist9 on October 22, 2008.

One Response to “Office Space in the deeeeeep south.”

  1. Sounds frustrating – are you having any positive experiences? I know that I would love to hear about the people and the nature around the area inwhich you are working.

    I do hope that there are some positives for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: